Medical students appearing for the second and third year final semester examinations have demanded the postponement of offline examinations scheduled to begin from April 19. Students said many of them have tested positive and COVID-19 cases are on a rise in Maharashtra.
Students have written a letter to the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), Nashik, which governs all the medical and dental colleges of Maharashtra, demanding the postponement of examinations and requesting the start of lectures for the next academic year online to avoid academic loss.
A third year medical student of a Mumbai college said, "The cases are increasing exponentially in Mumbai. Over 500 medical students and teachers have already been infected by the virus. We should not be forced to put our lives at risk and appear for the offline examinations amidst such a surge."
The medical examinations, which were originally scheduled to take place in February, were postponed to March and then to April by MUHS due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and complaints raised by students. A medical student posted on Twitter stating, "In March, when the state was recording 15,000 cases, MUHS postponed our examinations fearing for the life of students. But currently, when the state is recording over 50,000 to 60,000 cases every day, our examinations are supposed to take place as per schedule. How is this fair?"
On the other hand, MUHS said offline examinations cannot be deferred again, as it would delay the academic year. Amit Deshmukh, state minister of medical education, said, "I am monitoring the situation closely. We will do everything possible to protect medical students in the view of the second wave. A decision will be made after taking all the stakeholders in confidence soon."